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Birds of the plains

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Birds of the plains


Published 1909
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Publisher London, J. Lane; New York, J. Lane company
Pages 322
Possible copyright status NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language English
Call number b1040876
Digitizing sponsor Biodiversity Heritage Library
Book contributor American Museum of Natural History Library
Collection biodiversity; americanmuseumnaturalhistory; americana

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[Open Library icon]This book has an editable web page on Open Library.
[Biodiversity Heritage Library icon]This book is available with additional data at Biodiversity Heritage Library.

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Reviews

Reviewer: aibek - - May 15, 2012
Subject: An Extract
The book is a collection of about forty short essays, mainly about the common birds of India. Mr Dewar has poetry in his soul.

A couple of essays are not about any particular family of birds. An extract from one of them:

I have repeatedly had occasion to speak of the marvellous, kaleidoscopic changes undergone by ornithological terminology—changes which are the despair of the field naturalist. I am not a statistician, but at a rough guess I should say that every species of bird has its name changed about once in each decade. The object of having a classical terminology is that naturalists of all countries shall have a common name for every bird and beast, and thus not be at cross-purposes when conversing or corresponding. But this object is most successfully defeated when the classical name is continually undergoing alteration.

The museum ornithologist has yet another craze. He sees that there must be some limit to the present multiplication of species, so he has hit upon the brilliant idea of making sub-species. Just as the inhabitants of every town and village have little local peculiarities, so have birds of the same species which live in different provinces. … The hopeless thing is that any Juggins can make new sub-species. It is as easy as falling out of a tree. Let me show how it is done. … [from Up-To-Date Species Making.]
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